Hi, Kevin. Long time listener, first time caller...oh wait. Wrong media...never-the-less, this is my first post. I hope it doesn't suck. I'd hope for awesome, but that usually isn't in the cards. Anyway, to the Batcave!
I've been mulling the idea of the "long term" when I think about these Chiefs. Many seem to have a partial notion of what that might look like; developing young talent, getting the right coaches in place, adding veteran experience in key positions...the list is virtually endless. It was while mulling this that I came up with an idea. It may not be a good idea and it most likely will not be a popular one, but I think, where the long-term is concerned, it may have some merit.
Please hear me out before you arm yourselves with torches and pitchforks. I can assure you that to some I may very well sound like a fiendish ogre or even the boogeyman, but I do not suggest this without some reservation or with malice or ill-will. But, we have a lot of holes to fill and I do not think that next year is the year that we will jump onto the scene, officially kick in the playoff door and head to the Super Bowl. That being said...
As I look at where our beloved Chiefs currently stand developmentally, I had an idea pop into my head. It was always there in some small way, but was nudged into a full-blown thought after reading a comment by Loco (look buddy, you made it into a FanPost!). That idea is: What if we traded Tamba Hali? I know, immediately there is wailing and gnashing of teeth from some in Chiefs nation. Please allow me to explain my rationale.
Tamba Hali has to be close to reaching the pinnacle of performance and production. To me, his career path resembles that of the now infamous Larry Johnson; pretty dang good, one banner year, wants HUGE money and then...(cue dramatic theme music). Hali had a great season. He has a great motor and is a pretty dang good pass rusher. For a few years now, he's basically been the face of the franchise. Just like with LJ after his banner year (before the giant contract) I think we should seriously explore trading Tamba Hali.
Many of you will disagree with this, which is fine. I'm just thinking that for the long-term, that might be the best move for this organization. There are fools born every day and many of them run NFL teams. Seemingly everyone, Kansas City included, is looking for pass rush. However, given our defensive scheme, pass rush isn't as important (to my mind) as versatility from ALL the LB positions. As a means of achieving versatility and long-term success I contend that we ought to at least consider moving Hali as an option. His stock will never be higher. Personally, I think he's the football equivalent to what the Royals had with Zach Greinke. Zach, to my mind, will always be a slightly over .500 pitcher with great stuff, but I don't feel he'll ever replicate his Cy Young season. By this rationale, I think Tamba is a very fine player with many likable attributes, but I don't see him ever consistently hitting the marks he set this season. I see him as a guy that averages 7-10 sacks a season. Why settle for one guy with 10 sacks when you could possibly USE that guy to acquire TWO that could produce 8-10 per; one off each edge.
We are sorely hamstrung by our LBs at this point and I think that moving Tamba could be the means by which we cure that ailment. At this point, given his relative youth and recent production, I think we might find someone willing to part with three draft picks (assuming a CBA gets done) for Tamba's services. This gives us more options to find versatile LBs and at all with the same amount of money. Three for a dollar is almost always a better deal than one for a dollar.
Given our current short-comings and the many holes we need to fill, couldn't moving a very good player, even perhaps our BEST defensive player, be a great move to acheive long-term success? I know many of you will rail against this claiming that "We always trade our best players!" and "How can you win without your best player?"and "But, we have Studebaker and Vrabel and Sheffield!" Those arguments, and ones like them, are very valid. I just think that Hali will never be better than he is right now, thus never having more market value. I don't see him improving in the run game drastically over current production nor do I think he's capable of becoming a well-rounded LB that can drop into coverage and not be a liability. Face it, he's a one-trick pony.
When it comes to long-term success with this organization, I say "If the price is right, trade Tamba Hali." Don't deal him for a bunch of crap picks or some fly-by-night team hopper of a player. But if someone was to offer me a 1st, 4th and a 2nd next season...it would be tough to pass up. Especially considering the chunk of change that will likely be required to procure his services for the foreseeable future. Remember, IF the price is right.
What do you, my fellow APers think? Does this have merit or am I just a "bad fan?"
Discuss. Ooh, wait! I need to find my kevlar...gimme a second before attacking...
Okay. Now you can discuss.